Bleak Friday

Minnesotans are working harder than ever. As shoppers rush to stores, retail workers—many making as little as $7.75 an hour—are dealing with long lines, long hours, and low pay. But this isn’t just an issue for retail workers. For many across Minnesota, wages are low, job security is scarce, health insurance is an expensive nightmare, education and training are out of reach, and retirement is a luxury many can’t afford.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders said the economy is rigged. It’s still rigged! From 1973 to 2014, working people raised their productivity by 72%, but the average wage went up just 9%, while CEO compensation went up over 940%! A recent report shows that in 2017 a Minnesota family with two parents and one child needs on average $17.69 per hour to support a bare-bones household budget—with no vacations, no entertainment or eating out, and no savings. No wonder so many hard-working Minnesotans feel so desperate.

We must do better. First, raise the minimum wage now! 15 dollars an hour is already too low in many parts of Minnesota, so we can’t wait 5 years. And there are other steps we must take: Require earned sick leave and paid family leave! Offer free college or technical training! Deliver universal, single-payer health care, so everyone gets the care they need and no one has to limit work or stay in the wrong job just to keep affordable insurance! Strengthen collective bargaining rights! 

Weekly EmailLeo Alfred